Don’t stretch the truth to the breaking point, or make it the reverse of what it is, Bishop White!
In August or September 2007, someone who was close to becoming a Catholic, expressed to Bishop “Dr.” [???] James White (the most influential and well-known anti-Catholic polemicist of our time): “I would not have slept with the woman who carried the Christ in her womb if I were Joseph.”
The good bishop, in his infinite wisdom and piety, retorted: “An amazingly absurd thing for someone to say who pretends to honor marriage, to be sure. More of Rome’s anti-marriage bias . . .”
Of course, it is needless to point out that White’s master John Calvin, Martin Luther, virtually all of the early Protestant leaders, and many other Protestant scholars and notable people up to our time (including, for example, the great John Wesley) believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary, just as we Catholics do.
In fact, Luther even believed, as we do, in the miraculous birth of Christ (what is called in partu) so that Mary retained her physical virginity, as the Church has stated, “during” the time she gave birth.But for Bishop White, this is a thing only fit for mocking. He doesn’t even seem to be aware of his own Protestant history, since in mocking the doctrine, he makes out as if it is only a thing that “Rome” has taught. And let’s not forget Orthodoxy, either.
Told by the same person that Calvin and Luther believed in this, White bloviated: “Calvin showed next to no interest in the subject, and, had he lived today with the data available now, and with Rome’s further exaggerations in the past, you can bet he would have been just as politically incorrect in denouncing such myths as I am. Probably more so.”
To which I later replied:
Right. So now White engages in historical anachronism forward as well as backward. He would win over Calvin himself on all disputed points, could they but live in the same time period. Yet he can’t persuade his Presbyterian friends today (folks like David T. King) to become good Baptists.
In fact, Calvin showed considerable interest in the topic, at least in one sermon that I tracked down. It was so compelling, that after I showed it to Catholic apologist Tim Staples, he changed his mind about Calvin’s view.
For many many biblical arguments for perpetual virginity, and historical documentation, see my Blessed Virgin Mary web page.